By Roel Pareño
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – President Duterte has accepted the offer of Moro National Liberation Front chief Nur Misuari to deploy MNLF fighters in Marawi City and help the military defeat the Maute terror group.
During a visit to wounded soldiers in Jolo on Saturday, Duterte urged the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New People’s Army (NPA) to do the same.
Duterte cited a letter that Misuari sent him, offering 5,000 MNLF fighters in the fight against the terrorists.
In the letter, Misuari said the Marawi incident is an opportunity for them to show their mettle in helping the President and the people restore peace in Mindanao, particularly in Marawi.
The President was considering a suggestion to enlist the MILF and MNLF fighters as well as the NPA in the fight against the Maute.
In return, the government will give the secessionist fighters and guerrillas pay and privileges similar to what the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) receive.
“I am announcing to all forces of the MI, MN, if this conflict will take long and if you want to join, cast your lot with the Republic… I will take you in as soldiers, same privileges, and I will build houses for you in some areas,” Duterte said.
He called on the NPA rebels to leave their leaders who are waging conflict at the expense of civilians, to leave the ranks and join forces with the military in fighting the Islamic State terrorists.
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